Raymond Steele wins run-off for Mayor of Eutaw

mayor-raymond-steeleRaymond Steele was elected Mayor of Eutaw in Tuesday’s run-off election by a vote of 718 (58.4%) to 511(41.6%) for Hattie Edwards the incumbent Mayor. Steele previously served three terms as Mayor of Eutaw from 2000 to 2012.
Steele carried five of six voting boxes including decisive victories in Branch Heights and the Absentee Box (see chart of results on page 7 of this paper). The mayor’s race was the only one on the ballot while all City Council seats were determined in the August 23 primary election.
There was little drop-off in the voting between the first election when 1,233 votes were cast and the run-off where 1,229 votes were cast, based on unofficial voter returns that will be confirmed on October 13, 2016.
The new city officials will take office in November. Mayor Raymond Steele will be joined by City Council members: Latasha Johnson (District 1), LaJeffrey Carpenter (District 2), Shelia H. Smith (District 3), Joe Lee Powell (District 4) and Bennie Abrams (District 5).
In an interview with the Democrat after his victory, Steele said:
“I want to thank the citizens of Eutaw for their confidence in me. I look forward to working with the Eutaw City Council, other agencies and the citizens of the city to move Eutaw forward. I hope to continue with the proposed water improvement project. I want to encourage business and commercial development at the Interstate Exit 40 to bring jobs and raise our tax base.
“I want to ask the City Council to unconditionally accept the roads and streets in Branch Heights, so that we can seek federal and state monies to fix these roads. I am open to hear the concerns of city residents and hope we can build a brighter future for our city.”
Hattie Edwards said, “I thank my supporters for their support and believing in me.”
The Democrat learned on Tuesday that incumbent Mayor Ollie Vester of Forkland postponed the municipal run-off election in that city despite instructions from the Alabama League of Municipalities to proceed with the election. Vester is disputing the results of the August 23 election and asked for a recount, however her request was filed beyond the deadline for such challenges.
A special municipal election in Boligee is now scheduled for October 24.

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